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Arbitration Law Monthly RSS feed

Stay of judicial proceedings: optional arbitration clauses

Online Published Date : 05 May 2016 | Appeared in issue: Vol 16 No 05 - 01 May 2016

In Anzen Ltd and Others v Hermes One Ltd (British Virgin Islands) [2016] UKPC 1, an appeal from the courts of the British Virgin Islands, the question was whether it was possible to obtain a stay of judicial proceedings where the parties had entered into a permissive arbitration agreement under which either party could refer the dispute to arbitration but no reference to arbitration had been made. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council held that a stay should be granted. The judgment was given jointly by Lords Mance and Clarke, speaking also on behalf of Lords Sumption, Carnwath and Hodge.

Anti-suit relief: appropriate orders in anti-suit cases

Online Published Date : 05 May 2016 | Appeared in issue: Vol 16 No 08 - 01 September 2016

The decision of Andrew Smith J in Mercuria Energy Trading Pte Ltd and Another v Image Mine Products Ltd [2015] EWHC 2930 (Ch) is a relatively straightforward one, granting a permanent anti-suit injunction and allied declaratory relief to the claimant in a case where the defendant had – in breach of the arbitration clause – commenced judicial proceedings in India. The fact that the Indian court was seised of the proceedings was of no weight, and indeed the only real issue was the appropriate wording and scope of the injunction and declarations.

Qualifications of arbitrators: apparent bias

Online Published Date : 05 May 2016 | Appeared in issue: -

Under section 24 of the Arbitration Act 1996 an arbitrator can be removed for the court if there are justifiable doubts as to his impartiality. In Cofely Ltd v Bingham and Another [2016] EWHC 240 (Comm) that fate befell a highly-respected construction arbitrator and adjudicator who had not conducted the arbitration in any form of partial fashion but who had sufficient links with one of the parties to give rise to the necessary doubts. It may be that the main issue in this type of case is not partiality but lack of transparency.

Error of law: power of Court of Appeal to grant permission to appeal

Online Published Date : 05 May 2016 | Appeared in issue: Vol 16 No 05 - 01 May 2016

Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd v Emmott [2015] EWCA Civ 1285 is yet another instalment in the long-running dispute between the parties that has raged in both courts and in arbitration in different jurisdictions. Much important law in respect of arbitration has been made in the course of the proceedings. The present matter confirmed an issue that had been thought resolved, namely, if a judge hears an appeal from arbitrators on a point of law, and refuses permission for an appeal to the Court of Appeal, can the Court of Appeal itself grant such permission?

Jurisdiction: scope of arbitration clauses; joinder

Online Published Date : 05 May 2016 | Appeared in issue: Vol 16 No 05 - 01 May 2016

The lengthy judgment of Carr J in C v D1 and Others [2015] EWHC 2126 (Comm) contains a wealth of learning on a range of issues relating to challenges to arbitration awards. Most importantly, the judgment considers the scope of an arbitration clause where disputes arise under two agreements only one of which contains an arbitration clause, and also the nature of a jurisdictional challenge under the Arbitration Act 1996.

Appeals against arbitration awards: time limit

Online Published Date : 05 May 2016 | Appeared in issue: Vol 16 No 05 - 01 May 2016

Section 70(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996 imposes a 28-day time limit, running from the date of the award, for an appeal to be made to the court against an arbitration award. In K v S [2015] EWHC 1945 (Comm) Teare J reconsidered the vexed question of whether the time limit operates even though there has been an application to the arbitrators to correct their award or whether the time limit is postponed to the date on which the tribunal issues its amended award.